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  • Writer's pictureHannah Burba, CPM

WHAT IS IUI? What is at-home intrauterine Insemination?

Updated: Jun 25

There are many ways to grow a family, and intra-uterine insemination, or IUI, is just one one them.

Intrauterine Insemination is the process of inserting a washed sperm sample directly into the uterus with the intention of conception. A thawed washed sperm sample is drawn up into a sterile IUI catheter. The person receiving the IUI then lies down and a speculum is used to find a cervix. Then the sterile IUI catheter is placed through the cervix into the uterus and the sperm is deposited at the top of the uterus, close to the fallopian tubes, where hopefully there is an egg waiting to meet it.

My work as a midwife is rooted in a desire to empower and support people to trust their bodies and to show up for and honor the unique needs of each body. I have found through doing this work that people actually know what they need and appreciate a provider who trusts them and can affirm what their bodies are communicating.

I was trained in 2020 with Ray Rachlin of Refuge Midwifery in Philly to offer IUIs. Offering this service as a home birth midwife has been an amazing journey that has connected me with many incredible people so far and I am grateful. Fertility journeys are often rife with very expensive and very clinical hoops and regulations and waiting and anxiety, and to provide compassionate, unyielding support to people yearning to be parents in a warm and comfortable, and affordable way has been wonderful.

The people who have hired me to do IUIs are single parents by choice or queer families who don’t have sperm readily available. People work with sperm banks, most commonly, to purchase washed sperm and it is shipped to a clients home over a window of time we predict ovulation will be happening.

Clients are incredibly in touch with their bodies, and tracking their Luteinizing Hormone often three times each day leading up to an ovulation to ensure we have the most precise window of fertility to act on. By default, I am incredibly in touch with each client to make sure I can be available to perform an IUI.

I offer IUI attempts either in a client’s home or in my office in Towson, wherever I client feels most comfortable. I am on call for a client’s egg to ovulate just as I am for a birth, and so I only commit to a few IUI clients each month to make sure I can show up for people.

I bring with me my experience gained from working with cervixes for many years and am able to offer herbal support as well as fertility bodywork as people lead up to an anticipated insemination attempt. Every body and every cycle is different! We are not machines- and even if our app thinks our body will do something on a certain day, our bodies are wiser and on their own timelines.

Before we attempt an insemination, I like to meet with clients to discuss their desired timeline, learn as much about their cycles as possible and offer as many screenings as deemed helpful so that the process of ordering/shipping washed sperm goes as smoothly as possible when we are nearing ovulation for an attempted IUI.

If this sounds like something that would resonate with where you are now and where you would like to go next on your fertility journey, please be in touch.

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